I am usually the last one to eagerly give praise to expensive tea. This cake, still available at Yunnan Sourcing for $175 is probably the most expensive young puer I've had. I have been somewhat disappointed by some expensive young teas, thinking we are running into another puerh bubble. I ordered a sample as a part of larger Yi Wu purchase, trying to get to know the region better, not expecting much. What did I get then?
Dry leaves are, as one would expect, good-looking and giving a nice, fresh Yi Wu aroma:
The tea is rather pale yellow, an usual color for a tea of this age. The aroma is still quiet.
The taste is generally also rather quiet, but when this tea meets my tongue, it becomes obvious that this tea does not cost $175 for its taste only. The cha qi is probably the most intense I've met in a tea... The super-thick liquor coats the mouth, thick energy coats me from the outside too and draws me into a whirlwind of thoughts and memories. It leaves me quiet and unwilling to move - I'm just staring at two bonsais, appreciating their shape and their life. I feel like a part of the world, a part of the bonsais, of the room, of all the existing things. It is difficult to wake up back to more normal thoughts and I do not want to. Eventually, my usual consciousness returns and I have another cup which throws me back into that funny state.
I regain my senses during drinking the 3rd brew, noting the great cooling mouthfeel and gentle aftertaste. Then I go mind-wandering again, not wanting to get back anytime soon...
The taste itself is young, Yi Wu-fruitish, but quite distant. More imminent tastes I found were of sugarcane and grass. Pleasant, certainly, but this tea offers much more then just the taste.
Although I usually use more tea leaves, I used only 5g this time and it was quite sufficient to enjoy the powerful nature of this tea.
Even though this tea is expensive, I enjoyed every bit of it and will buy at least 25 grams more. Actually, as 5g is enough to make a great 0.75l of drink (and more is definitely possible), this tea costs $2.80 per 0.75l. What kind of wine can you get at this cost? If you survive drinking it, you may call yourselves happy. Thus, when buying 25 grams of this tea, you may think of it as of buying 5 bottles of luxurious wine. For this tea is luxurious and great. It really is the King of tea.